The big news: Dynamite with lowest numbers since return to live touring
AEW Dynamite, for the second week in a row, fell to the lowest numbers since the return to live touring. Last week, the blame was placed squarely on the fact that the show was airing live on the West Coast instead of prime time as well as going up against the World Series on FOX. This week there was no World Series and they dropped considerably, particularly in the key demo. Was it a reaction to last week’s main event? Was it because the show only advertised three matches, one of which didn’t occur for reasons beyond their control? Or was it just a fluke. The next few weeks will be telling.
While still interesting, the AEW vs. WWE ratings war is becoming more one sided if we are comparing RAW and Dynamite ever since the upstart show won two weeks in a row in September.
This week’s numbers
- AEW Dynamite averaged 878,000 viewers, down 6.7% from the previous Wednesday. In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged a 0.33 rating, down 17.5% from last week. Dynamite finished sixth on the cable charts after finishing fourth last week and winning the night over most of September and October. Looking at the numbers a little more closely, the show actually rose with people over 50, which was likely a result of no World Series. But the show dropped in every other age category with the biggest drop being in their key demo of 18-49.
- WWE NXT 2.0 on the USA Network, averaged 631,000 viewers, down 15.4% from last week’s Halloween Havoc special episode. In the 18–49 demo the show finished 30th on the cable charts, which is where they have been since the beginning of October except for last week, with a 0.15 rating in 18–49. That’s down 16.7% from the previous week. The biggest drop for this show was in males 12–34 where the show dropped 50% to a 0.07 rating.
- Monday Night RAW on the USA Network averaged 1,689,144 viewers for the November 1 episode. That’s up 1.8% from last week. In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged the same 0.47 rating as the previous week. They finished fifth on cable in the demo if you consider the combined audience of the Monday Night Football game on both ESPN feeds as one program Monday Night Football had one of the weaker marquee match-ups of the season and there was no baseball competition on the night either. They were the top non-sports show on cable for the night.
- Friday Night SmackDown on October 29 averaged 10.32 million viewers on FS 1, up 19.2% from the previous airing on that network two weeks earlier. The show finished third on cable in the 18–49 demo with a 0.29 rating. That’s up 20.8% from two weeks before. SmackDown was up against game four of the World Series and also portions of two separate NBA games on ESPN.
- AEW Rampage on the same night following SmackDown averaged 623,000 viewers, up 16.8% from last week. So both Smackdown and Rampage were up from two weeks earlier where they were partially head to head, despite stronger sports competition. In the 18–49 demo the show averaged a 0.25 rating which was up 13.6% from the previous week. Rampage finished fourth on the night in the cable charts, just below Smackdown.
As shown in the chart below, the increases/decreases over the ten-week average, prior to this week, are as follows:
- AEW Dynamite was down 15.8% in viewers and 17.5% in 18–49. The numbers would look much worse if the two Saturday airings weren’t a part of those averages.
- WWE NXT was down 7.1% in viewers and 6.3% in 18–49. Three of the last six weeks, the total viewership has been within 1,000 of each week so this is pretty much where they’re at without a special show like last week.
- WWE RAW was down 4.5% in viewers and 4.1% 18–49. The numbers are starting to stabilize with eight of the ten weeks being a part of the NFL season
- WWE SmackDown comparison is not fair due to airing on FS1. But it was the highest viewership for the show of the five time it’s aired on that network.
- AEW Rampage was down 7.6% in overall viewers and 13.8% in 18–49. Starting with next week, the CM Punk debut show will be removed from the ten-week average so these comparisons will be more fair.
AEW Dynamite was up 22.5% in overall viewers and 10% in the 18–49 demo. For Wednesday night airings, it’s the eighteenth straight week the show has had double digit growth with all but one of those weeks being over 20%
WWE NXT was up 3.4% in viewers and 7.1% in 18–49. This is being compared to when they were running on Wednesdays opposite Dynamite so it’s even worse than it seems on the surface. The same can be said of the AEW show and look at the difference. It’s the first time since September that they’ve had year over year growth.
RAW was up 2% in viewers but down 2% in 18–49. It’s the first time in a month that RAW had year over year growth.
SmackDown aired on FS 1 this week so year over year comparisons are not fair.
Not much for this week so I thought it would be interesting to look at the quarter hour numbers for this week’s AEW Rampage. The notable thing here is that the final quarter was the highest rated in 18-49 where it’s usually the lowest rated. This speaks to the drawing power of AEW Women’s champion Britt Baker.
Total viewership peaked in the second quarter for the ending of the Daniel Bryan vs. Eddie Kingston match which was well regarded as one of the best TV matches of the year. The viewership almost always drops during that quarter.
Chart courtesy of Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics.com